tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 10, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
on our broadcast tonight, on the trail. president obama cashing in the day after his gay marriage announcement. tonight, mitt romney responding to a story about his behavior back in high school. blind ambition. more stunning testimony at the john edwards trial. what the candidate wanted even during the cover up. >> the mystery. what is killing all our honeybees and threatening our food supply in the process? there's a new theory. >> and the weather channel, with prince charles. the television moment of the day. "nightly news" begins now. good evening. tonight, it is clear president
obama is hoping at least to capitalize on the history he made yesterday, becoming the first american president to come out in favor of same-sex marriage. while he believes it's a matter that has to be decided by the individual states where the tide so far has been against it, president nonetheless is appearing before a sympathetic audience tonight, one that might not have been so sympathetic to the president before the gay marriage announcement. it's where we begin with our white house correspondent kristen welker in seattle. good evening. >> good evening to you, brian. in fact, this is a state that has passed a law to legalize same-sex marriage. tonight, an enthusiastic roughly 2,000 supporters turned out to hear the president speak. a day after his endorsement of same-sex marriage, president obama arrived in seattle for three big ticket fund-raisers in friendly political territory as his campaign tried to capitalize
on the issue with this political ad targeting mitt romney. >> i indicated my view, which is i do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and i don't favor civil unions. >> the democratic national committee says calls have been pouring in from donors today, and the president who is already expected to break a record at a fund-raiser hosted by george clooney, may now bring in an even larger haul. erica pane is a former deputy finance director for the dnc. >> it will make the presidential's financial supporters double down their support of him. but for the electorate at as a whole, this is an economic election. >> the president's supporters aren't the only ones using the issue to raise money. former arkansas governor mike huckabee sent this e-mail to his supporters calling same-sex marriage a defining issue of this election and asking for $10 donations. romney campaigning in omaha, also raised big money today. >> they told me it was the most successful fund-raising event in
the history of nebraska. >> and he said this about the same-sex marriage question. >> i hope the issue, as tender and sensitive as marriage is, is not a source of fund-raising for either of us. >> romney also said he intends to keep the conversation focused on the economy, which he sees as his strongest argument. >> it's the economy, which is the focus of what they're talking about. obviously, the president does not want to talk about that. >> we learned that vice president biden apologized to president obama for those comments that he made this past sunday on "meet the press" in which he essentially endorsed same-sex marriage and jumped the gun on this issue. >> kristen welker in seattle to start us off tonight. kristen, thanks. >> before we get into this neck item, ask yourself if you remember everything you did in high school, and more important, would you be willing to defend everything you did in high school? that's what mitt romney was facing today, and spent much of the day trying to explain and apologize.
our chief white house correspondent political director chuck todd with us tonight from the d.c. newsroom with that part of the story from the trail today. chuck, good evening. >> good evening, brian. the question is, what is fair game in presidential politics? today, mitt romney learned thal running for president means every aspect of your life is open to inspection, including incidents from high school days nearly 50 years ago. campaigning today, mitt romney found himself having to respond to a washington post story posted online this morning about his high school years at the prestigious cranbrook school outside of detroit. this article quotes some of romney's classmates describing his history of high school pranks including an incident from 1965 when romney was a senior. where he and a group of friends allegedly accosted a boy with bleach blond hair, draped over one eye, tackled him and pinned him to the ground, and then romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. one of his classmates confirmed
the story to nbc news noting the boys grew into a distinguished group of men, and we look back on it now and it's a black mark on our character. edgillespie is a senior adviser to the romney campaign. >> is the incident troubling to you? >> governor romney doesn't remember that incident at all. it's understandable. it was high school. >> on radio this morning, romney denied the specific charges, but issued a blanket apology for some of his actions. >> i had no this idea might have been gay, and as the article points out, i participated in a lot of hijinx and pranks in high school, and some may have gone too far, and for that i apologize. >> later on tv. >> i don't recall the incident myself, but i have seen the reports and i'm not going to argue with that. there's no question that i did some stupid things when i was in high school. >> i think it's going to be very difficult to criticize mitt romney for what he did when he was 18 years old. he's had a whole life to grow up
and growing up is growing out of these irresponsible things. >> in 2007, then candidate obama faced some criticism for his admission of youthful indiscretions in his book "dreams from my father." >> i kept playing basketball, attended classes sparingly, drank beer heavily, and tried drugs enthusiastically. >> as you know, brian, the romney campaign has been in damage control mode, and late this afternoon, they have been sending out statements from other high school friends of mitt romney sort of serving as character witnessess saying he was not a mean guy. this is not mitt romney's character, brian. >> chuck todd in d.c., thanks. there was some disturbing news from this nation's largest bank, jpmorgan chase. ceo jamie diamond held a hastily scheduled conference call to announce the company has lost $2 billion in its own trading portfolio and that the losses were the result of a lack of internal controls, errors, sloppiness, and bad judgment. diamond said the company could
still lose more money on the trading positions. jpmorgan and other stocks fell in after hours trading. overseas tonight, a bloody day in syria. arguably the worst day in the capital since the struggle started for the soul of the country 14 month ago. at least 55 were killed, some 372 injured by two powerful car bombs that exploded today in damascus. our chief foreign correspondent richard engle has our report. >> the first bomb drew in the crowds. then a second killed them. this doesn't look like a pro democracy uprising, but like baghdad on a bad day. two suicide bombers in vehicles targeted an intelligence compound in damascus with a ton of explosives. the crater, ten feet deep. many images too graphic to show. the attack bolsters the government's claim that it's fighting terrorists, not pro democracy campaigners. just after the bombing,
supporters of president bashar al assad took to the streets to back him. in this chaotic mix, u.n. monitors, unarmed, appealing for calm. >> this is going to create more suffering for women, children, the syrian people. it is not going to solve any problems. >> by phone, an activist in hiding denied that the so-called legitimate opposition was responsible. >> the free syrian army made an announcement and declared clearly it's not behind these explosions. >> who did it? experts believe it was the work of islamic militants. they have been pouring into syria to fight the government, but today's bloodbath may have played right into assad's hands. the uprising in syria has been going on for over a year, brian. and attacks like the one today completely undermine the opposition's credibility, and the syrian government isn't showing signs of cracking. >> there's no way to know how
this ends, but we can ask, what is going on there? >> the opposition wanted weapons, military support, and they didn't get it. the opposition doesn't control any territory. they don't have a strong hand. what they did get was islamic militants responding to a call, rushing in to try to help this opposition, and it's only made the situation worse. much more complicated on the ground. >> our chief foreign correspondent richard engle here with us in new york. richard, thanks. back in this country, prosecutors at the john edwards corruption trial rested their case today with new evidence about the money trail to cover up this affair, and some stunning testimony about the candidate's seemingly blind ambition. again tonight, lisa myers has our report from greensboro, north carolina. >> prosecutors closed their case with a portrait of john edwards as a man so full of deceit and hubris that he tried to broker a deal as president obama's running mate even as his pregnant mistress, rielle
hunter, was being spirited around the country to keep her out of sight. leo hendry, a former edwards adviser testified that the day obama won the iowa caucuses in 2008 -- >> thank you, iowa. >> edwards had him approach the obama campaign about joining the ticket as vice president. mr. edwards believed it important that mrs. clinton not be the nominee and said that would be a disaster, hendry said. hendry also said a few weeks later, shortly before rielle hunter gave birth, edwards was weighing whether to endorse obama or clinton in spite of his disdain for clinton and had him convey his message that edwards for his support would like to be attorney general, and he said edwards also discussed with him an elaborate long-tomorrow goal which was to be a supreme court justice. >> it came across as john edwards was detached from reality. whether it was because of hubris or he was deluded can be debated.
>> prosecutors played for the jury edwards' interview in 2008 in which he admitted the affair but lied about other things, including his own daughter. >> i know it's not possible that this child could be mine because of the timing of events. >> edwards stared at the video, sometimes closing his eyes. some analysts believe there's still a gaping hole in the government's case. and that it is not presented clear evidence, that edwards knew that expenditures to hide his mistress were a violation of campaign finance law. lisa myers, nbc news, greensboro, north carolina. still ahead for us here tonight, what is killing so many honeybees and what does it mean for the american dinner table? tonight, a new theory in a stubborn and very troubling mystery. later, let's say you're waking up in scotland, having your morning tee, and you thought you saw prince charles doing the weather on the bbc. well, you would be right. the werthd on the bbc. you would be right. emily's just starting out... and on a budget.
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now to an environmental issue we have been covering here. it's as big and urgent as any other. a story we have been talking about for a while. something has been causing honeybees to disappear since about 2006. beekeepers estimate their colony are down 30%. given all that bees do in the natural world, this could be catastrophic. theories have centered on mites and viruses, but now there's a new problem that might be a clue in this mystery. our report from our chief environmental affairs correspondent anne thompson. >> near elbow lake, minnesota, steve ellis tends his honeybees that help pollinate one third of u.s. crops that end up on our dinner tables. >> they're as fundamental to
food production as is water or sunlight. >> but honeybees are under attack, victims of colony collapse disorder where they disappear from hives and now this. >> normally, in the spring, do you see this many dead bodies? >> we shouldn't see this kind of mortality event occurring at the front door of the hive. >> some of the bees are incapacitates or stunned. >> these bees are not capable of flying. >> five miles away, this farmer sees fewer bees around his corn fields. >> if there was a dandelion, there was a bee on it, they have definitely gone down in numbers around this area. >> now, peer reviewed research from purdue university suggests honeybees may be victims of neonicotinoids. coated on a variety of crop seeds. when corn is planted by machines to help keep seeds from sticking together, mixes with the insecticide, and is released into the air. >> it's an environment that is hostile to a honeybee.
if it's in an area where a lot of annual crops are planted. >> he said there's enough toxic material on one kernel of corn to kill hundreds of thousands of honeybees. of the 200 million acres planted with coated seeds, the larger manufacturer of neonicotinoids said there's not enough toxins in the dust to cause widespread deaths or colony collapse disorder. >> it doesn't cause colony collapse dish order. there's just not a link there. the evidence isn't there suggesting these products are causing widespread colony losses of honeybees. >> bear crop science and minnesota officials are looking into the deaths at steve ellis' hives. along with other beekeepers, he's asking the epa to investigate in an effort to keep alive these workers so crucial to our food supply. anne thompson, nbc news, elbow lake, minnesota. up next here tonight, some news about close encounters way up above. and a new effort to help america's warriors back here on
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america's beverage companies are delivering. talk about a close encounter. nasa's "dawn" spacecraft is flying alongside a massive asteroid named vesta and has sent back data that led to this simulation of what it looks like on this jiend rock that started out as a small planet. vesta is roughly the size of arizona. it's located in the asteroid belt between mars and jupiter. it has a deeply pock-marked surface. here on earth, scientists have confirmed the bright light over nevada and california a few weeks back was indeed a visiting meteor the size of a minivan that broke up just over our atmosphere. >> at washington's national cathedral today, debuting the skulltural of civil rights legend rosa parks whose refusal to give up her seetd on a
montgomery, alabama, bus in 1955 triggered a wave of protests and changed the debate on the issue. tonight, an unprecedented effort to help america's military men and women return to their families and some semblance of a normal life at home. with combat operations starting to wind down, more than one million veterans will be returning home to their communities. which brings us to a new campaign we here at nbc universal are very proud to be a part of. it takes its name from a military phrase. i've got your 6. >> "your 6" is a military term that means, i've got your back. the 12:00 is your front, your direction of travel. 3:00 and 9:00 are right and left, and 6:00 is to the rear. >> keep doing what you're doing. i have your back. i'm able to watch the dark spots, the places you can't see. >> through jobs, education, housing, and more, we can support returning military veterans and their families. >> the first step in bridging
the civilian/military divide is having each other's 6. changing the conversation in america so the veterans and military families are seen as civic assets and leaders and not as charity cases or problems. >> my daughter is 11 years old. i went to a meeting of parents a few months back. and in walked a couple who were both in fatigues, and this couple went and sat down. no one talked to them. it wasn't that people were rude or mean, but it was as if there was a discomfort, they didn't know what to do. we haven't figured out how to have this dialogue. >> civilians absolutely have the desire to share in the sacrifice or express their appreciation in a meaningful way. we as a country have lacked outlets for that appreciation sometimes. we, through these wars, haven't been buying war bonds or recycling tin. >> i've got your 6. >> please show you support and
prove to a veteran you've got their 6. >> going to war in many cases is the easy part. what we do to take care of people and the ones and warriors we ask to do the job, that's the tough part. the work begins now. >> a great campaign. a lot of great people are involved. and if you're interested in joining in, getting involved in the work, we've put more information on the website, nbcnightlynews.com. the countdown to the summer olympics in london is in its final turn now with the lighting of the torch in ancient olympia greece. 490 torchbearers will carry the flame across 1800 miles before it's handed over to london organizers in anthens on may 17th. the torch will reach its final destination in london during opening ceremonies july 27th. up next here tonight, look who's predicting a few flurries over balmoral. fleurys over balmoral. food,
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>> prince charles will likely be king some day, but should that job fall through, he may have stumbled on a fallback. >> this afternoon, it will be cold, wet, and windy across most of scotland. >> filling in as a weatherman on british tv. >> the rain will be heaviest over the borders and around edinboro where it could lead to difficult conditions on the roads. >> relaxed and regal, even while tracking isobars off the coast. >> in the west, rain will be lighter and perhaps here, there will be maybe a few drier interludes. >> the duchess of cornwall would not be outdone. >> cloud outbreaks of rain. surprise. >> to be honest, just about anyone can be a meteorologist in britain this spring, cold, wind, rain, on and on. the much trickier job is getting the fickle british public to like you, and the royal family has been getting that right for a while.
the highest popularity in a generation is being driven by william and kate. their marriage. and charity work. her fashion, his military service. >> just the newfound affection for members of the royal family from prinls harry to the queen and beyond. >> prince harry, once the unpredictable trouble maker was honor this week in washington, d.c. for the work he and prince william have done with injured veterans. >> to be introduced by such a world renowned soldier and statesman is truly humbling and a little terrifying. >> as the queen prepared to commemorate 60 years on the throne, a tell-tale sign her support is strong. sales of corgis are going up. for the moment, the scandals that once riddled the royal family are a thing of the past. a new era ushered in by a younger generation and clearly being enjoyed by the whole family. >> the potential for a few